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Lost in Oaxaca

Lost in Oaxaca

Author(s): Jessica Winters Mireles

Location(s): Los Angeles, Oaxaca

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Contemporary

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Once a promising young concert pianist, Camille Childs retreated to her mother’s Santa Barbara estate after an injury to her hand destroyed her hopes for a musical career. She now leads a solitary life teaching piano, and she has a star student: Graciela, the daughter of her mother’s Mexican housekeeper. Camille has been grooming the young Graciela for the career that she herself lost out on, and now Graciela, newly turned eighteen, has just won the grand prize in a piano competition, which means she gets to perform with the LA Philharmonic. Camille is ecstatic; if she can’t play herself, at least as Graciela’s teacher, she will finally get the recognition she deserves.

But there are only two weeks left before the concert, and Graciela has disappeared—gone back to her family’s village in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Desperate to bring Graciela back in time for the concert, Camille goes after her, but on the way there, a bus accident leaves her without any of her possessions. Alone and unable to speak the language, Camille is befriended by Alejandro, a Zapotec man who lives in LA but is from the same village as Graciela. Despite a contentious first meeting, Alejandro helps Camille navigate the rugged terrain and unfamiliar culture of Oaxaca, allowing her the opportunity to view the world in a different light—and perhaps find love in the process.

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Hurry, hurry! Our 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition entries close on 15th November...

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

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Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020